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Hibernian 2 - 2 Aberdeen

HT Score: Hibernian 0 - 1 Aberdeen

Hibernian scorers: R Jones 62, S Fletcher 90
Aberdeen scorers: Mackie 40, Diamond 53.

15/11/2008 | KO: 15:00

Dons let two goal lead slip

Aberdeen were denied three points at Easter Road when Steven Fletcher bundled the ball into the net in the fourth minute of the allotted three minutes of injury time. It was rough justice, but punishment for the Dons who consistently failed to clear their lines in the closing minutes. Aberdeen broke the deadlock five minutes before the interval when Aluko delivered a free kick into the area and no one in the Hibs defence reacted as Mackie ghosted in at the back post to head home. The Dons doubled their advantage eight minutes after the break when Diamond bulleted an Aluko corner into the net. Poor defending allowed Hibs back into the match nine minutes later and it looked like the Dons had done enough until that late goal robbed them of two points.

Aberdeen kicked off on a pleasant autumn afternoon and the Dons won two free kicks in the opening minute. Both were wasted but Aberdeen had started the match positively without threatening the home goal. Diamond tried to set up Aluko in the 4th minute but the youngster failed to control the ball and a minute later Considine almost produced a clanger as he attempted to clear the ball and made a complete hash of it. Fortunately no damage was done and Aberdeen were soon pressing forward again. Hibs then threatened and both Severin and Hodgkiss had to make important blocks to deny the home side as the Dons looked nervy at the back.

Aluko was taken late in the 10th minute and picked up a nasty knock even though referee O'Reilly failed to award a blatant free kick. After a good start from Aberdeen the visitors started to find themselves on the back foot as Hibs came more into the game. Aluko and Young carved out a good chance in the 13th minute but there was little support in the centre to finish the move. Aluko then won the first corner of the match two minutes later and Considine steered the ball over after a good delivery from Young. At the other end Hibs should have opened the scoring when the Dons defence was split wide open by a Fletcher pass. Bamba headed over a Riordan corner in the 29th minute and four minutes later Kerr did well but failed to find Miller with his final pass. McNeil in the Hibs goal was put under pressure by Miller after a shocking pass back from Thicot in the 39th minute, but the keeper recovered well. The game had become scrappy as it headed towards the interval, but with five minutes of the half remaining Aberdeen took the lead. Aluko delivered a free kick into the area and no one in the Hibs defence reacted as Mackie ghosted in at the back post to head home. Hibs pressed for an equaliser before the break but Aberdeen held firm.

Mackie must have picked up a knock in the first half as he was replaced by Maguire during the interval. The referee refused to let the game flow in the first half and continued in the same vein after the break as he penalised Aluko for a nothing challenge in the opening minute. Potentially good build up play in the 48th minute ended when Foster delivered a through ball straight into the hands of McNeil. Maguire was causing problems since coming on and he went down in the box in the 51st minute, but the challenge from Hogg looked good.

Aberdeen doubled their lead two minutes later when Diamond bulleted a header past McNeil as he rose to meet an Aluko corner. Hibs were stung and tried to hit back straight away as Langfield was forced into a save from Shiels. The keeper didn't look so clever in the 57th minute as he came for a ball that he had no chance of claiming and he had to rely on goal scorer Diamond to save the day. Aluko was still causing the home defence real problems and Bamba was having a particularly testing afternoon. Just as Aberdeen were looking comfortable Hibs pulled a goal back through Jones. A Riordan corner was played in and Jones rose unchallenged to head home.

Aberdeen tried to hit back straight away with Severin firing inches wide as McNeil scrambled across his goal. The referee finally lost patience with Rob Jones after his umpteenth illegal challenge and he found himself in the book for a poor tackle on Miller in the 67th minute. Two minutes later Langfield made a comfortable save from Riordan as the home side pushed forward for an equaliser. Mair replaced Hodgkiss in the 72nd minute and Hibs introduced O'Brien in place of Thicot. Three minutes later Langfield made a desperate save as it looked as if Fletcher must score from an O'Brien cross.

McDonald replaced Young in the 77th minute as Aberdeen looked to hold on to the three points. Two minutes later Hibs won another corner and the Dons defence were forced to defend desperately to keep the lead. Hibs went for it with ten minutes to go as Nish replaced Shiels. Aluko almost sealed the win in the 83rd minute as he went through on goal, looked to be tripped inside the box by O'Brien, but still got his shot away. Unfortunately it was deflected wide and a minute later Maguire also fired wide as the Dons looked for a third.

The fans were getting nervy as the game neared the end and McDonald conceded a dangerous free kick in the 88th minute. Fortunately the chance was wasted but the home side continued to throw everyone forward and Aberdeen couldn't get out of defence. Another free kick in the 90th minute was blasted over the bar by Riordan as the game moved into three minutes of injury time. The Dons were denied the win in the fourth minute of injury time when a corner was delivered and Langfield looked to have made a great save only for Fletcher to bundle the ball into the net. This late strike was a tough one to stomach, but the Dons were punished for failing to clear their lines.

Hibernian Teamsheet
A McNeil, R Chisholm, S Fletcher, S Bamba, C Hogg, J Rankin, R Jones, I Murray, D Riordan, S Thicot (A O'Brien 71), D Shiels (C Nish 79). Unused Subs: Y Ma-Kalambay, L Stevenson, D van Zanten, S Pinau, F Yantorno.

Bookings:  R Jones (66).
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Langfield, Hodgkiss (Mair 72), Foster, Severin, Diamond, Considine, Young (McDonald 77), Kerr, Miller, Mackie (Maguire 46), Aluko.

Unused Subs: Bateman, Mulgrew, Stewart, de Visscher.
Attendance: 11,640
Venue: Easter Road, Edinburgh
Referee: S. O'Reilly,
Next Match
Heart of Midlothian
09 Dec 2023 / 15:00 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen